WMware is poised to integrate the partner program of its Velocloud offering and those of its more recent acquisitions, Carbon Black and Pivotal, into its freshly-launched Partner Connect partner program.
The virtualisation vendor is touting its Partner Connect program, first flagged in early 2019, as a dramatically simplified and flexible program designed to enable its more than 75,000 channel partners around the world to do business with VMware in “a way that aligns to their business models under a single unified contract”.
With the new program, launched on 2 March, VMware claims that partners now have an enhanced experience that delivers simplicity, choice and innovation, while recognising and rewarding partners based on the value they bring to customers.
“VMware Partner Connect reimagines the way we do business with and for our partners, helping them drive differentiated customer success and digital transformation,” VMware worldwide channel chief Jenni Flinders said. “We designed Partner Connect with our customers in mind, and the idea that they should feel confident when choosing to go with a VMware partner.
“And this is just the beginning, as Partner Connect continues to evolve to deliver new and better ways for our partners to grow their businesses,” Flinders added.
Broadly, the VMware Partner Connect program offers three tiers: Partner; Advanced Partner; and Principal Partner. According to VMware, with the official launch of the program, hundreds of partners have been designated as Principal Partners.
In addition to claiming master services competencies across different strategic IT priorities, Principal Partners earn rewards such as deployment and consumption incentives and prioritisation for collaborative business planning and co-selling opportunities with the vendor.
In August last year, VMware revealed it was concentrating on five master services competencies, featuring hybrid-cloud; multi-cloud; modern applications; transform networking and security; and empower digital workspace.
Also revealed in August last year was a new platform to manage development funds, which was initially slated to be switched on in the fourth quarter of 2019 in preparation for the Partner Connect launch.
The new platform was designed to integrate with VMware's new Digital Connect partner portal. Today, the development funds portal provides enhanced dashboards and improved visibility for partners to track their activity with VMware,
The Partner Connect program also includes a new VMware ‘Learning Zone’, which provides a wide variety of content, including the ability for partners to customise learnings plans based on individual partner preferences, along with an overall improved partner experience, according to VMware.
For VMware’s head of channels in Australia and New Zealand, Neels du Plooy, simplicity was a big factor in the development of the new program, which the vendor worked on closely with its partner network.
However, with multiple brands and offerings under the VMware banner thanks to a series of high profile acquisitions over the past few years, the call for simplicity meant weaving disparate brands’ partner programs into a single, unified entity -- no small feat for brands with well-established partner programs of their own and an existing global partner base.
According to du Plooy, it was worth the effort.
“Our partners have been telling us for a long time that they want simplicity in how they engage with VMware,” du Plooy told ARN. “And the partner program is absolutely at the heart of that; and the fact that we are taking multiple partner programs developed over the years and collapsing all of that into a single agreement, a single program, is absolutely music to the partners' ears.”
Not only does VMware plan to integrate partner programs from new VMware products including Velocloud, VMware Carbon Black and Pivotal into Partner Connect, the new program is expected to continue to evolve based on industry changes, changes in customer buying behaviors, and to support emerging partner business models.
“It's a radical expansion of our portfolio. So we get to build seamless pathways, whether that's through our own innovation or [through] acquisitions, and reward partners based on the level of investment and commitment to VMware,” VMware Asia Pacific and Japan vice president and channel chief Uma Thana Balasingam told ARN.